Money Mania Lesson Plan: Value of Quarters, Dimes, Nickels, and Pennies

Submitted by: Kathy Keith

Grade Levels: K-3

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades K-3, students use BrainPOP Jr. resources to identify a quarter, dime, nickel, and penny. Students will explore the value of each coin and count them, first in like groups and then in mixed groups.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Identify a quarter, dime, nickel, and penny.
  2. Identify the value of each coin.
  3. Count coins, first in like groups and then in mixed groups.


  • One dry erase or vis-a-vis marker for each student
  • Internet access for BrainPOP Jr.
  • Laminated pages with big piggy banks on them
  • Small cups to put coins in (4 for each group of students)
  • Class set of plastic coins


pennies; nickels; dimes; quarters; skip count; count on


Print or draw piggy bank pictures and laminate. Fill cups with like coins. You will need a cup of pennies, a cup of nickels, a cup of dimes, and a cup of quarters for each pair or group of students. Or, if you want students to complete the activity independently, you should prepare 4 cups for each student. Print or draw piggy bank pictures and laminate.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Watch the Counting Coins movie, pausing for short discussions where needed for your students. Review the Word Wall if students need to build further background knowledge.
  2. Demonstrate how to count mixed change by starting with the greatest coin. After the students count the total amount of money, they can write it on the piggy bank and share with the class or a partner. Students can pair up and check each others' totals.
  3. Repeat with dimes and quarters.
  4. Next, practice skip counting by fives. Give each student a cup of nickels. Have students count each nickel by skip counting and put the total on the piggy bank.
  5. Money can be remixed and recounted as needed.
  6. Give each student a piggy bank page and wipe off marker. Distribute the cups of pennies to individual students, partners, or groups.
  7. Have students count the pennies in the cup and then write the amount on the piggy bank on their laminated paper. Check student answers.

Extension Activity:

Students can explore the activity or Game as a follow up.
  • Sara Richards

    This sounds like a great way to reinforce counting change! Maybe also consider having students make a video to explain the process to other students and publish it for a wider audience.